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Good morning folks.
Hot out there isn’t it?
Man, fuck summer.
Fuck it directly in it’s ass.
If you’re a global warming truther then I don’t know how much more anecdotal proof you’re going to need to cause you to remove your head from your sweaty rectum and wake up and smell the melting asphalt.
You should go ahead and vaccinate your kids while you’re at it too.
As discussed before one of the many reasons that I live where I do is because I hate the goddamn summer. Fucking hate it. Then you start factoring in humidity and I honestly have no idea how some of you folks do it.
That shit is oppressive.
This year for some reason we’ve been getting hit with humidity too. What the fuck? Southern California has always been known for cooler drier air but not now. As I am writing this the current humidity is 87%
EIGHTY FUCKING SEVEN PERCENT!
This ain’t Cambodia! It ain’t the equator! It’s fucking L.A.! On the goddamn beach!
/turns on central air
There. That’s more like it.
As evidenced by past seasons of Sunday Gravy, when we get into the Summer doldrums I stay away from the oven, stay out the damn kitchen and we head to the grill.
There you go.
Over the next couple of episodes we are going to be experimenting with cooking entire meals, proteins, sides, and salads etc WITHOUT using our ovens. I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve and we will be using more than just a grill to achieve our desired ends.
Today though? It’s all grilling all the time.
I’ve got a couple of menu ideas and you will probably recognize an item or two but there will indeed be a couple of new tricks to hopefully inspire you to keep on cooking, save your money on take out and practice some new techniques.
If those pork chops look familiar there’s a pretty damn good reason for that. I’ve posted the recipe on here a couple of years ago.
Those are chops that have been brined and given a good rub of cumin and then thrown on the grill.
Some of you good DFO folks have even gotten to sample these before
That picture up there shows why I’m posting these a second time. I grilled some pineapple to make a pineapple serrano salsa to give the dish a solid kick in the ass.
Ever grilled fresh pineapple?
That shit is delicious. Grilling actually adds to the sweetness and it gives the requisite smoky touch to it as well. Good shit. It also works perfectly with the serranos in the salsa.
We will be working with fresh pineapple today. I don’t think those slices of pineapple from a can will have the needed structural integrity to survive a grilling session.
Prep the pineapple for cooking by trimming the outside of the pineapple and using a paring knife, remove the little bits of spine that penetrate the pineapples flesh. It should look something like this.
I’m going to have a quick digression here to give you a quick guide for kitchen tool maintenance. Notice the cutting board in that pic? If you’re a regular reader you’ve seen it many, many times. Here it is in it’s entirety.
This thing has been with me for a couple of decades and it finally shuffled off this mortal coil a couple of weeks back. The pineapple is sitting on a remnant of this board, actually about 1/3 of the entire board and this was it’s last application.
New cutting board!
This one is bamboo and is 12″ x 18″ in length.
Here’s a quick guide to treating your new cutting board prior to it’s first use.
That is a bottle of mineral oil in the photo. Are you familiar with mineral oil? Does it invoke unpleasant memories? Then you are indeed familiar with it.
Know where to find mineral oil?
At the pharmacy in the laxative section.
Hoo boy am I familiar with mineral oil. Long story from a long time ago that doesn’t need to be brought up here.
Why mineral oil instead of vegetable oil or olive oil?
Damn right. Vegetable based oils will go rancid and impart a funky taste/smell to your board.
You don’t want that do you?
Take about 1/3 cup of mineral oil and apply liberally with a paper towel to your new cutting board. Get both sides and the edges too. This treats the wood and will give you less splintering down the road.
When treated it will look like this.
Let the oiled board rest for a couple of days minimum before using. This will allow the oil to permeate the wood and give you a longer lasting treatment.
/End of digression.
Where were we?
Cut the pineapple in thick slices. Think of them as pineapple steaks.
Once your grill gets hot and ready, baste the pineapple with just a quick brush of olive oil and slap that thing on the grill.
These will only need about 3-4 minutes per side depending on the heat of your grill. Midway through the cooking time rotate each slice about 90 degrees prior to turning to give them some sexy, sexy grill marks.
Repeat on the second side and you are all set.
Trim around the central core of the pineapple prior to serving.
You can eat this as is at this point but if you want to make the grilled pineapple/serrano salsa then follow along.
Fire roast one or two serrano chilies, let rest in a foil covered bowl for a couple of minutes to aid with the removal of the charred skin. Remove the seeds to cut down on the heat if so desired and chop up fine. Add about 1/2 of a finely chopped red onion along with the grilled pineapple chunks and give a nice squeeze of fresh lime over the whole thing.
Be sure to grill the pineapple before grilling your proteins. This will give ample time for the salsa to rest and mingle with the other ingredients and will also help avoid any cross-contamination on the grill.
Grill them chops next.
After the chops have been cooked through, plate them fuckers up, add a nice scoop of the grilled pineapple salsa and any additional food items and you are ready to throw the fuck down.
Check this shit out.
Add a nice macaroni salad along with a lovely grilled Nathans dog and serve alongside the pork chops and salsa and you have a holiday worthy plate of deliciousness!
If you’re wondering why that photo above looks nothing like the original banner photo then you are indeed an astute observer and you’ve been paying attention.
Thank you for noticing.
Because we ain’t done yet!
Know what other non-conventional fruit veggie items we can grill?
How about some…
That’s one of them mini “personal” seedless watermelons.
This time we won’t even need to peel the damn thing. Just cut this one in half,
then cut into thick slices with the rind still on, brush with a little olive oil, add seasoning if you like – I added “Essence” (obligatory link) and threw that shit on a hot and ready to go grill!
Same drill as with the pineapple. Grill for a couple of minutes, rotate 90 degrees, another couple of minutes, flip and repeat.
If you take a close look at that photo you can see tong marks on the slice on the left. Watermelon gets really tender when grilled and this can happen, so use a deft tong touch.
When the watermelon has been grilled to your liking THEN remove the rind. You can practice your knife handling deftness and see if you can cut the entire rind off in one long circular cut.
For today’s application we made a really lovely grilled watermelon salad.
Use some chunks of the cut up grilled watermelon add in some handfuls of fresh baby spinach, give a drizzle of a good quality balsamic vinegar over everything and top with some crumbles of feta cheese. Give a grind of some black pepper and maybe a sprinkling of kosher salt and serve.
The grilling gives the watermelon a nice depth of flavor that watermelon just doesn’t have on it’s own. A friend of mine asked “Where did you buy such a deep red watermelon?” That’s from the grilling too, along with the essence.
Another cool thing about it, grilled watermelon makes some sexy ass food photos.
Check this crazy shit out.
And the entire meal?
That’s some brined and grilled chicken alongside some roasted garlic chicken sausage and the watermelon salad.
Zat is ze maximum sexiness, yes?
You folks use some Hillshire Farms products don’t you? This was the first time I noticed this style and holy shit was this tasty coming off the grill.
I just gave a quick brush of Sweet Baby Ray’s original sauce over the top when grilling and served.
That fucker will be purchased again.
Don’t give me the stink eye! Homemade sausage is a future recipe!
So what did we accomplish here?
Complete meals with sides and every damn thing without needing to turn on the oven.
You can do this cuz this shit is really easy and elevates the fuck out of the pineapple and watermelon.
Think of new items that could use the grill treatment. Experiment. Try new things and for the love of Christ leave that goddamn stove turned OFF during the summer.
Thanks as always for reading folks.